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56                   LECTURES AND ESSAYS

modifies the object This room, the table, the
chairs, your bodies, are all objects in my con-
sciousness ; as simple objects, they are parts of
me. But I somehow infer the existence of
similar objects in your consciousness, and these
are not objects to me, nor can they ever be
made so ; they are ejects. This being so, I
bind up with each object as it exists in my
mind the thought of similar objects existing in
other men's minds ; and I thus form the com-
plex conception, "this table as an object in
the minds of men,"—or, as Mr. Shadworth
Hodgson puts it, an object of consciousness
in general. This conception symbolises an
indefinite number of ejects, together with one
object which the conception of each eject more
or less resembles. Its character is therefore
mainly ejective in respect of what it symbolises,
but mainly objective in respect of its nature. I
shall call this complex conception the social
object; it is a symbol of one thing (the in-
dividual object, it may be called for distinction's
sake) which is in my consciousness, and of an
indefinite number of other things which are
ejects and out of my consciousness. Now, it is
probable that the individual object, as such,
never exists in the mind of man. For there
is every reason to believe that we were grega-
rious animals before we became men properly
so called. And a belief in the eject—some